image Sorry to all the other breweries out there, some of which are very cool, but these guys have you beat. The GroovyBrew Ultimately Cool Brewery Award goes to Lagunitas of Petaluma, California.

Case in point, this Lumpy Gravy seasonal brew, a one time shot get-them-while-you-can beer that has been brewed to honor the 40th anniversary of one of Frank Zappa’s most incredible albums.

I pop the top of this 22 oz. bottle, sniff some warm, strong, and sweet dark malt scents, and tip it up to my lips and immediately gulp down at least 11 oz. without a breath. It took me by surprise. My lips locked around that bottle, my arm and fingers froze, and my tongue commanded the body to suck this sweet nectar down. It was anarchy. The brain was no longer in control.

Indeed, you could even put forth it was the beer that was in control.

It’s a rather hot and humid Friday night here in McKinney, Texas. I have my bedroom window open and the box fan is desperately trying to coax slightly cooler air in from outside. I’m sweating all over my tee shirt. Hard to believe that just last week it snowed not once, but twice, right here — shutting the city down.

In two days I’ll be in Frankfurt sucking down some German brew during a 4 hour layover. In fact my open suitcase is here on my bed, ready to be filled. I am not filling it, however … I’m sitting here drinking this wonderful beer.

It’s dark, sweet, very malty, with a prancing hops aftertaste that takes over about 37 seconds after the malt fades. Alcohol content is respectably high. Much like a Zappa melody, there’s not a sour note in the batch, but it is all over the place as far as experience. The taste zooms, zings, and buzzes like Frank’s guitar.

Is this beer a fitting tribute to Zappa? Hell yes. It is also a Holy Beer Contender, and as stated above, this rings the alarm for the Gulp Alert.

Thank you Lagunitas. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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